Spray Painting Techniques
When spray painting, as with any painting project, nothing is more important than correctly preparing the surface to be painted. When cleaning off metal items, use a wire brush or sand paper to remove any loose or rusted areas. Clean oil and grease off of metal using household cleaners or mineral spirits. Make sure the surface is completely dry before painting. Wood items should be sanded using fine or medium grade sand paper. Make sure to thoroughly dust off wooden items before painting. Glass, plastic, or ceramic items should be sanded with a fine grade sand paper to slightly rough the surface, this will help the paint adhere to the surface.
Spray painting techniques require the person spraying to be aware of how the paint is falling. The paint sprayer should be held about one foot away from the item being sprayed. Before using the paint, test the spray on a piece of cardboard to understand the pattern of the spray and ensure the spray nozzle isn’t clogged. Once ready to begin painting, the paint must be sprayed over the item without hesitating or stopping. Each pass should go in the same direction. By moving the sprayer in the same direction for each pass a more uniform coat is applied. When spraying, overlap each pass with the spray can by about a third of the area being covered. Be sure not to start or stop each pass of the spray directly on the item being painted. By letting the paint over-spray there is less of a chance of hesitation and accumulation of paint along the edge. Multiple thin coats of paint are preferable to trying to get full coverage in one coat. Wait for the first coat to dry before adding a second coat or approaching the item from a different angle. Wipe the spray nozzle clean with a cloth before storing.
Before using any painting techniques on an item of value, practice on another item or a piece of cardboard. Once comfortable with the spray can, simple techniques and patience will lead to a successful project. By using moderation and controlled spray painting techniques, one can make sure they have a project free of the drips or runs that can happen with over-spraying.
When spray painting, if the paint does drip or run, quickly wipe the drip and then allow the piece to dry completely. Then, using a very fine sandpaper, sand over the area with the drip until it feels completely smooth to the touch. After cleaning all dust, it’s safe to resume spray painting.